When I first saw the initials WFH on an article online, I didn’t understand. I have become so accustomed to the initials WTF that, in my mind, I translated WFH to ‘What the Fucking Hell?’ until I realized from the context they meant ‘Working From Home’ – which can often lead to exclamations like – ‘What the Fucking Hell?’
As someone who has been WFH for the last decade, I feel your challenges, and I recognize that, yes, it does take some adjustment. Much of this depends on the home you are working from, what your job is, and how many children you have to deal with, how many hours of the day.
Spouses and partners can also qualify under the ‘children of all ages’ clause, if they are being more demanding of your time than supportive of your needs.
So, starting with a few basics on the up side of the equation, you have the right to feel comfortable. If you are someone whose work previously required items of clothing like high heels, or neckties, know that those days are over. If you have spent more than a year of your life in last decade commuting on a freeway crowded with stress, those days are over, too.
There are great things about working from home. You actually get to live where you live; it’s not just a place to shower and sleep. You can decide to eat lunch outside in the sun, or read a book, or call a friend – without feeling like the title of your book or the tone of your conversation has to be kept within some corporate standard of acceptable.
But this whole WFH was not really a choice; I get it.
When I started publishing under my own masthead, my motive for working from home was pretty simple; I needed to be there for my children. I had some time when they were in school to do things like shop and clean and write in peace. But since children are currently also WFH, it’s quite likely to be crowded, chaotic, and even a bit crabby.
This is not their usual workspace either, and it’s going to take a bit of getting used to.
I’m currently sharing my 10 foot by 12 foot office with two college students. The high school student, happily, prefers to work in her bedroom, and does not require extra monitors or printers for graphics and animation work. This space, I know, is luxury – for most of the last year, my office has been the dining room table.
Ear buds are a blessing.
One of the things I loved about the film “Parasite” was watching this family work together as a unit. That was not the family ethos that I grew up with, but it’s one that I work to cultivate with my kids. If it doesn’t work for everybody, then it doesn’t work for anybody.
So, as we approach the end of ‘Spring Break’ and figure out how to move forward with everyone WFH, it might seem my original interpretation of the acronym works too.
Congratulations, it’s Friday, you made it. Clock out.
Graphic from ihaveapc